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Carcinogenesis
Year: 2010  |  Volume: 31  |  Issue: 4  |  Page No.: 597 - 606

TMPRSS4 induces invasion and epithelial-mesenchymal transition through upregulation of integrin {alpha}5 and its signaling pathways

S Kim, H. Y Kang, E. H Nam, M. S Choi, X. F Zhao, C. S Hong, J. W Lee, J. H Lee and Y. K. Park    

Abstract:

TMPRSS4 is a novel type II transmembrane serine protease that is highly expressed on the cell surface in pancreatic, thyroid and other cancer tissues, although its oncogenic significance and molecular mechanisms are unknown. Previously, we have shown that TMPRSS4 promotes invasion, migration and metastasis of human tumor cells by facilitating an epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT). In this study, we explored the molecular basis underlying TMPRSS4-mediated effects. We show that multiple downstream signaling pathways, including focal adhesion kinase (FAK), extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), Akt, Src and Rac1, are activated by TMPRSS4 expression and that FAK signaling and ERK activation are required for TMPRSS4-induced invasiveness and EMT, including cadherin switch. Inhibition of PI3K or Src reduced invasiveness and actin rearrangement mediated by TMPRSS4 without restoring E-cadherin expression. Downregulation of E-cadherin was required for TMPRSS4-mediated effects but was not sufficient to induce EMT and invasion. TMPRSS4 induced integrin 5 expression and its signal transduction, leading to invasiveness and EMT accompanied by downregulation of E-cadherin. Functional blocking confirmed that integrin 5β1 is a critical signaling molecule that is sufficient to induce TMPRSS4-mediated effects. Immunohistochemical analysis showed that TMPRSS4 expression was significantly higher in human colorectal cancer tissues from advanced stages than in that of early stage. Furthermore, upregulation of TMPRSS4 was correlated with enhanced integrin 5 expression. These observations implicate integrin 5 upregulation as a molecular mechanism by which TMPRSS4 induces invasion and contributes to cancer progression.

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